Duval County elections supervisor expects good turnout in upcoming primary

Monday is the last day to register to vote in Florida’s next primary election, and in just 15 days, early voting will begin in Jacksonville.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Monday was the last day to register to vote in Florida’s primary election, and in just 15 days, early voting will begin in Jacksonville.

There are many races and several will have a final winner decided by this primary. Vote-by-mail ballots are out and some voters have received notice they need to update their identification.

Already, some of the vote-by-mail ballots have been trickling in to the Duval County Supervisor of Elections office. Mike Hogan, the supervisor of elections, says Duval could see a 30% turnout in the upcoming primary.

“Every election is important for the community you live in, for the nation you live in. It’s so important to have your voice known,” said Debbie Carmen, a voter who was dropping off her ballot downtown.

“It is important to me to have a voice,” voter Wanda Jenkins told us. “I think it’s a privilege.”

LINK: Register to vote in Florida

The elections center will verify signatures on the mail ballots, and later this week, they will check the voting equipment to ensure the counts will be accurate come election day.

Hogan says there’s a lot of interest in this primary, which is why he’s predicting a 30% turnout in Duval.

“With the sheriff on there, that’s an additional issue. And, of course, all the news has been for two years elections. So yeah, we think that it’s going to pick up a little bit, that’s a little higher than a normal midterm,” Hogan said.

Florida has a closed primary, so for many races, Democrats can only choose from Democrats — and Republicans can only choose from Republicans.

But, there are some non-partisan races that are open to every registered voter, like school board races.

In this election, the special election for Jacksonville sheriff is open to every registered voter in the county — and they can vote for any of the five candidates, regardless of party.

Many Jacksonville voters fall in District 5, which includes part of St. Johns County. The race has no Democratic candidates, only three Republicans. All registered voters in the district can vote to determine the outcome.

Thousands of Duval County voters received a letter telling them they need to update their identification. If they want to vote by mail, new election laws say voters need a drivers license or Florida ID number on file — or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

“I want to emphasize, every one of those 33,000 voters are voters in good standing, they can vote in any election,” Hogan said.

About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.